If you and your family are looking for ways to reduce your sugar intake, keeping an eye on the added sugars you consume is one way to do that. Added sugars are included in products adults and children consume, such as snacks, cereals, drinks, sauces and practically everything in between. According to AHA Journals, excess added sugars can lead to obesity, cardiovascular disease and higher cholesterol levels.

Still not quite sure what added sugar actually means? It can be tricky to look for. Added sugars are sugars that are included when foods are processed. Added sugars can include sugar from syrups, honey or concentrated fruit juices. Naturally occurring sugars, such as those in fruits and milk, are not added sugars.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, “added sugars should be limited to less than 10% of your daily calories.” For example, a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet would include no more than 200 calories, or 50 grams, of added sugars per day. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends further “reducing added sugars for kids to no more than 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day.”

Here are some tips to keep your added sugars to a minimum.

  • Use recipe substitutes. To reduce the amount of sugar in a recipe, make your treats with dried fruits, such as no-sugar-added raisins and apricots. Choose unsweetened applesauce or prune puree rather than butter or shortening to lower the fat content as well. Our Publix Aprons® Banana-Nut Muffin Tops are naturally sweetened with bananas and dates.
  • Check for Better Choice shelf tags. Comparing labels at Publix is an easy way to find foods with less added sugars. Our Better Choice shelf tags are an easy shortcut.
  • Sweeten sparingly. Keep added sugars and sugar substitutes to a minimum in dishes and use less frequently in children’s meals. While alternative sweeteners don’t contain calories, they can fill kids up, while providing very little to no nutrition. According to the FDA, all sweeteners are safe to use in moderation. Below are some alternative sweeteners that you can find at Publix.

Steviol Glycosides (Stevia)

Steviol glycosides may not sound familiar to you, but according to the FDA, they are “natural constituents of the leaves of Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) Bertoni, a plant native to parts of South America, commonly known as Stevia.”

Stevia is reported to be 200 to 400 times sweeter than sugar and is one of the most popular alternative sweeteners.

Saccharin

According to the FDA, “saccharin is 200 to 700 times sweeter than table sugar” and it contains no calories. Saccharin was first discovered in 1879 and is an artificial sweetener approved for use in beverages, fruit drinks, and as a sugar substitute for cooking and in processed foods.

Aspartame

Aspartame does contain calories and has been approved by the FDA since 1981. It is found in cold breakfast cereals, gums and dry bases for foods (instant coffee, beverages, puddings, etc.). According to the FDA, “aspartame is one of the most exhaustively studied substances in the human food supply, with more than 100 studies supporting its safety.”

 

Sucralose

Sucralose is about 600 times sweeter than sugar and has been approved by the FDA since 1999 for its use as an all-purpose sweetener. It’s used in a wide variety of foods, such as beverages, gums, frozen dairy desserts and more. According to the FDA, “sucralose has been extensively studied and more than 110 safety studies were reviewed by FDA in approving the use of sucralose as a general-purpose sweetener for food.”

Monk Fruit

Siraitia grosvenorii Swingle fruit extract (SGFE), commonly known as Luo Han Guo or monk fruit, is native to Southern China. According to the FDA, “it is an alternative sweetener that is 100 to 250 times sweeter than sugar.”

 

Sugars and alternative sweeteners should be used in moderation. What are some of your favorite alternative sweeteners and how do you use them? Let us know in the comments and check these blogs below for more great health and wellness information!

 

Matthew L.

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Matthew L. started with Publix in 2009. After working his way up to a Publix Manager, Matthew decided to make a change from retail and pursue his passion for writing. Matthew enjoys hearing stories from the people he's writing about and loves the Publix culture. Outside of work, Matthew enjoys spending time with his wife and their dog, Edmund. They love to explore all that Central Florida has to offer.

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